Big domes became part of popular culture in the 60's because of Buckminster Fullers geodesic domes and research into lightweight structures. Below on the right are photos of his dome (76 meter diameter) in Montreal for the 1967 world fair. Fuller was concerned about the limited amount of resources on our planet and coined the term SpaceShip Earth.
This year saw the opening of the Abu Dhabi Louvre, below left. It was designed back in 2007 by french architect Jean Nouvel and features a giant dome of 180 meters. The interior affect of the filtered light is stunning. But it comes with a heavy price, 8 layers of steel weighing over 7,500 tons, and consuming 30 million man hours.
I think it would be more interesting to see what Nouvel could design today with oil prices cut in half. I'm sure he could still create this magical affect and be a little kinder to our earth.